Exclusive: Application Essay Tips From a Former Admissions Officer (Part 2)

Exclusive: Application Essay Tips From a Former Admissions Officer (Part 2)

 Supplement essays are sometimes more important than the Common App essay

“The other thing that's really important is their demonstrated interest essay, the ‘why this college’ essay. If you can cross out the name of the school and drop in a similar school, and the essay still works, that's a bad essay. If you’re applying to BU,and can you can cross BU out and replace it with Northeastern and Boston College, for example, and the essay still works, you have a problem. The ‘why this college essay’ has to be specific.”

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Exclusive: Application Essay Tips From a Former College Admissions Officer (Part 1)

Exclusive: Application Essay Tips From a Former College Admissions Officer (Part 1)

If They’re Undecided, the Admissions Essay Will Make All the Difference

“For the applicant where it’s a little bit harder to distinguish the unique value of what they bring, they need something to put them over the edge - that's where the essay is important. If an admissions officer feels ‘I believe in this person,’ after reading their essay, it can absolutely turn a waitlist into an admit. Each kid gets read for 10-15 minutes - people in the middle will go to committee, and that’s where the essay can make all the difference. When I would read applications, my goal would be to get through 50 a day - the essay is the one place you’re really telling a story about the person. It can also help determine how much scholarship money you get.”

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What Admissions Officers Are Looking For In Your Personal Essays

What Admissions Officers Are Looking For In Your Personal Essays

"As an admissions officer, I analyzed students' personalities. If I read an admissions essay, and the student came off as arrogant, entitled, mean, selfish, or, on the flip side, funny, charming, generous, witty, I wrote that exact trait in my notes. It's not enough just to be smart at top schools. Students must also show that they'll be good classmates and community builders."—Angela Dunnham, Former Assistant Director of Admissions, Dartmouth College [Business Insider]

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Admissions Officers Spend 12 Minutes On Your Application & More News You Need to Know

Admissions Officers Spend 12 Minutes On Your Application & More News You Need to Know
  • Admissions officers spend 12 minutes reading your entire application. Make them count. [Business Insider]
  • How to prepare for the dreaded admissions interview. #1 tip: Don't forget to prepare thoughtful questions to ask them whose answers can't be found on the internet. [US News]
  • 20 insider do's & don'ts for getting into your dream college, from University of Rochester admissions officers themselves. Parents, no scrapbooking (!) or overbearing phone calls. Students, no rudeness or worn-out jeans in interviews. [Rochester.edu]
  • Student groups are protesting legacy admissions, which give a boost in accepting relatives of alumni—a practice that happens to about 75% of U.S. News & World Report’s top 100 universities.  [The Atlantic]
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December Admission News You Need To Know

December Admission News You Need To Know

LSATs no longer required for top law schools! Harvard, Georgetown, Columbia, Northwestern and more law schools will now accept the GRE as an alternative admissions test in order to boost diversity in their applicants. [Fortune]

How to explain (and not just excuse) your lower GPA. [US News]

Some admissions consultants can cost you a pretty penny— or $28K of them. [SF Gate]

Parents, step away from your kid's admissions essay and no one will get hurt. [Washington Post]

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Admission News You Might Have Missed

Admission News You Might Have Missed

Deep breaths...Getting admitted to a top public college is becoming tougher, as applicant pools grow and average acceptance rates fall. BUT that's largely because more students are applying to more schools, thanks to the ease of the Common App. [US News

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The Secret Way Admissions Officers Talk About Race—And What To Do About It

The Secret Way Admissions Officers Talk About Race—And What To Do About It

Thanks to a racial discrimination lawsuit against Princeton, Buzzfeed got its hands on some secret admissions documents—and boy, are they a doozy.

As a result of that lawsuit, civil rights investigators at the Education Department examined allegations of racial bias in the school’s admissions system. Though they came up short and no racial bias was found, the comments below are not exactly innocent.

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5 (Very Tempting) Personal Essay Habits to Stop Right Now

5 (Very Tempting) Personal Essay Habits to Stop Right Now

Let's establish something from the start: admissions essays are freaking hard. Most schools don't emphasize personal essays in their academic curriculum, so it's not surprising that many students struggle with the form. Unless you're a creative writing prodigy, you may not know how to be confessional without revealing TMI, how to impress strangers without being annoying, and how to write well without sounding like a blowhard. Here are five newbie mistakes any senior should avoid in their personal statement, from Ivy League valedictorians to veteran admissions reps.

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